On Sunday, May 20, the victim told La Porte police that she left her purse in the office at First Baptist Church, closed the door and proceeded to attend the church service. When she returned she said she found that her purse had been dumped out on the couch and her cell phone and wallet were gone.
According to court documents, the victim then found unauthorized charges on her credit cards from just after the theft, including a gas station and a Target store. Police used the surveillance video from Target to help identify the suspect. A clerk at the gas station gave police further details, including the suspect's license plate number and vehicle description. He told police the suspect had tried to use a credit card but fled the scene when the clerk had asked for identification.
Police say they tracked down Christopher Douglas Hardwick to his home in Baytown, but he ran out the back door and fled from detectives on foot.
Hardwick, 39, is charged wth credit/debit card abuse. Bail has been set at $15,000 in the case.